Ter­ror on the streets: na­tion on high alert as train bomber sus­pect cap­tured try­ing to flee coun­try

Sunday Herald - - NEWS - BY PETER SWIN­DON

BRI­TAIN re­mains on the high­est ter­ror threat level with armed po­lice pa­trolling ma­jor events across the coun­try af­ter the ar­rest of the teenager sus­pected of the Lon­don train bomb­ing as he tried to flee the coun­try.

The 18-year-old was de­tained on sus­pi­cion of be­ing a ter­ror­ist by Kent Po­lice in Dover yes­ter­day morn­ing in a de­vel­op­ment hailed as “sig­nif­i­cant” by de­tec­tives. Armed po­lice also evac­u­ated and searched a house in Sun­bury, Sur­rey, in con­nec­tion with the Tube train at­tack at Par­sons Green which left 30 peo­ple in­jured.

Yes­ter­day, armed po­lice and snif­fer dogs were at Premier­ship foot­ball matches, a horse-rac­ing event and a food fes­ti­val in Eng­land. Metropoli­tan Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Cres­sida Dick joined her front­line staff on some of Lon­don’s busiest streets and trav­elled on the tube as she high­lighted an in­creased po­lice pres­ence.

Mean­while, Po­lice Scot­land said it would be re­view­ing all “sig­nif­i­cant events” tak­ing place over the com­ing days and would in­crease se­cu­rity where ap­pro­pri­ate, but As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Bernard Hig­gins stressed “there is no in­tel­li­gence to sug­gest there is any spe­cific threat to Scot­land”.

He said: “The pub­lic should ex­pect to see armed of­fi­cers on foot pa­trol at key lo­ca­tions and crowded places across the coun­try. Please do not be alarmed by the pres­ence of these armed of­fi­cers. These mea­sures are be­ing taken to in­crease se­cu­rity at these sites, and to re­as­sure res­i­dents, busi­nesses, work­ers and visi­tors so they can go about their daily lives as nor­mally as pos­si­ble. Along with or­gan­is­ers, we will also be re­view­ing all sig­nif­i­cant events tak­ing place over the next few days and will in­crease the se­cu­rity foot­print around those events where it is deemed ap­pro­pri­ate.”

The de­vice which ex­ploded at Par­sons Green re­port­edly con­tained the ex­plo­sive tri­ace­tone triper­ox­ide known as TATP, or the Mother of Satan, as well as nails, but is thought to have only par­tially det­o­nated in­side a shop­ping bag and bucket. The coun­try’s top counter-ter­ror­ism of­fi­cer in­di­cated that a net­work of plot­ters could have been in­volved. As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner for Spe­cial­ist Oper­a­tions of the Metropoli­tan Po­lice Ser­vice Mark Row­ley said po­lice were “chas­ing down sus­pects”, while sug­ges­tions were made by Don­ald Trump that the bomber was known to Scot­land Yard. The sus­pect was cap­tured in the port area of Dover, which is the busiest ferry hub in Europe and serves as a com­mer­cial gate­way to the French coast, in­clud­ing Calais and Dunkirk.

Deputy As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Neil Basu said: “We have made a sig­nif­i­cant ar­rest in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion this morn­ing. Al­though we are pleased with the progress made, this in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues and the threat level re­mains at crit­i­cal.”

A key strand of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has fo­cused on CCTV as of­fi­cers comb through footage. Po­lice said they have spo­ken to 45 wit­nesses and 77 images and videos have been sent to de­tec­tives by the pub­lic.

Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter Ben Wal­lace sug­gested CCTV images of the bomber could be re­leased as part of the man- hunt for those re­spon­si­ble, but Scot­land Yard sub­se­quently de­nied there were any plans to do so.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment re­silience room has been ac­ti­vated fol­low­ing the Lon­don at­tack and First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon and key Cab­i­net col­leagues are said to have been fully briefed in con­nec­tion with the in­creased threat level.

Holy­rood of­fi­cials have con­firmed that ex­tra se­cu­rity ar­range­ments will be in place at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment while the height­ened threat level ex­ists.

The pub­lic should ex­pect to see armed of­fi­cers on foot pa­trol at key lo­ca­tions and crowded places across the coun­try

High alert: po­lice and army pres­ence around big pub­lic events has been stepped up across the coun­try. Right: po­lice and foren­sic of­fi­cers at­tend a house in Sun­bury, Sur­rey in re­la­tion to the Par­sons Green tube bomb­ing Pho­to­graphs: Getty

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